Does it matter what we believe concerning God?
I had a conversation with some of the other Moms on Friday night at a Scout function that highlighted for me the lack of conviction among people who consider themselves to be believers as well as my non-preparedness to answer the expressed concerns, (ironic considering the setting. I was "not prepared"). I have continued to return in my mind to that exchange and figure out what I might have said that could have made a difference. As it is, every one of the women involved left unchanged and unchallenged to think further through their beliefs.
Having come through a number of Providentially guided circumstances through churches of widely varying beliefs, I am firmly convinced that what one believes is of paramount importance. God has been gracious not to leave us in error, but to deliver us to a church and fellow believers who love Scripture and Doctrine. No longer basing my beliefs about God on opinions or what "sounds right to my ears", I have come to learn that the only way to know God is to find out what He has taught us about Himself in His Word. I have learned that those things which are easy to believe may actually be "too good to be true", and that hard truths can be blessed truths to a parched soul.
Perhaps I am merely a slow learner, but in the school of trials and dark valleys have been the most resounding lessons taught, and the very hand of God found, to grasp onto when the music has faded and all the smiling faces have fallen away. There in the shadows I have found a resting place and a refreshment that is utterly indescribable in the mercy and grace which was conveyed to my bitter and fearful heart. No more shallow waters for me. No more smoothing over when something doesn't square with Scripture. What I believe about God has made all the difference in my life when the clouds have covered the sun and all that is left is God.
God's Word is Truth. If the Words of life are to be found only in Him, then that had better be where I am looking for them. If I am drowning in my own sin and incapable of grasping a life preserver, I had better know that it is God's hand that will reach into the swirling rapids to pluck me to safety. If the trials of life are hurling at me faster than I can react to them, I must know that they are ordained for a purpose and not just chance happenings through which an impotent deity will wring his hands hoping I make it out in one piece.
These things I unswervingly believe,... and yet I sat silent while my friends nodded their heads in agreement that people mustn't be so inflexible in their beliefs and foist them upon others; after all, it doesn't matter what you believe, just so long as you believe what seems right to you. Screaming inside, yet silent, hoping for an opportunity to speak to each, one at a time. I am as non confrontational as a mouse in a roomful of lions.
I believe the official term for that is "the fear of man".